Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ireland VII: Coolrain House

Tiny backtrack here. Prior to our escape to Wexford, I took the time for a morning photo session at a striking old structure. We had driven past it several times (on the way to the pub, but who's counting), and I was intrigued enough to find out more about it. Michael talked to the neighbors who said it was fine to go check it out, so d^2 and I wander across a mucky field, unload gear, and get to work.

View from the road

The grand old house is known simply as Coolrain House, and it's old and crumbling. Very old and crumbling. Nature is taking over the building, the property, and everything in between, and it's sublime.

So lonely

Wall no more


I improvised a bit with the available gear I had (one light and no tilt-shifts), and I think we made it work pretty well. I wanted to give this the same photographic treatment that I might apply to a $5M home: study the details, be deliberate in composition and lighting, and capture the essence of the place. The only difference is that in the $5M home, that essence is very deliberate and purposeful, and in Coolrain House, that essence is a byproduct of decay and what used to be.

Vines and sky

Next level

While the exterior walls remain standing, most everything inside has collapsed, crumbled, or been scavenged. What remains is evidence of grand staircases, of fireplaces in every room, and plaster as guide for where walls and ceilings used to be.

Stronger than brick

Cellar under front door

Grand facade

Stepping carefully over rubble, we learn the flow of the house, wandering from room to room, sometimes having to take huge detours outside and then in through a window thanks to the biggest piles. Every time an opening in a wall reveals another wing, the house's unknown story grows tantalizingly more complex.

Through the gap

Casting softly into the cellar

More vines

Outbuilding becomes forest

Inviting or not?

It's easy to imagine the place in its full grandeur. A spectacular structure, one can visualize it playing host to kids and cows and horses and chickens and withstanding all manner of exciting Irish weather.

Front wall


Back side

And that's the shitter, really

It appears as though some restoration/rebuilding efforts had begun some time ago, but I think those were suffering the same fate as the rest of the structure: neglected and forgotten. Thanks for looking!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The "shitter" is actually the ice house

Past Detritus